Arleigh Burke (DDG 51) - Naval Cruise Book

 - Class of 2003

Page 6 of 104

 

Arleigh Burke (DDG 51) - Naval Cruise Book online yearbook collection, 2003 Edition, Page 6
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Admiral Arleigh Burke The Navy ' s most famous Destroyer sailor was born in Boulder, Colorado, in 1901, and graduated from the Naval Academy in 1923. His first sea assignments were in USS ARI- ZONA (BB 39) and (USS PROCYON (AG 11). After completing his initial sea duty. Admiral Burke returned to the Academy briefly before attending the University of Michigan, where he received a Master of Science Degree in Engineering in 1 931 . Promoted to Lieutenant Commander in 1939, he com- manded USS MUGFORD (DD 389) before being assigned as Ordnance Inspector at the Washington Navy Yard. Captain Burke took command of Destroyer Squadron 12 in August 1943. Two months later, he assumed command of Destroyer squadron 23-nicknamed the " Little Beavers, " offer the character from the popular Red Ryder comic strip. Captain Burke also commanded on of the Squadron ' s two divisions, DESDIV 45, with USS CHARLES S. AUSBURNE (DD 570) OS his flagship. In November 1943, he distinguished himself by leading several torpedo attacks against Japanese combatants, sinking a number of enemy warships. During the Battle of Cope St. George, in what has been termed a " near perfect tactical action " by military historians, the Little Beavers de- stroyed three ships of a larger Japanese force while sustaining no damage. It was at this time that Captain Burke ' s ability to lead his squadron in spectacular dashes at high speed earned him the name " Thirty-One Knot Burke. " Following World War II, Captain Burke served in a num- ber of senior staff positions. Promoted to Rear Admiral in 1950, he served in Korea as Commander, Cruiser Division Five. In 1951, he was appointed as United Nations Delegate to the truse talks with North Korea. In May 1955, President Eisenhower nominated the 53 year-old Burke to the position of Chief of Naval Operations, bypassing 87 active duty officers senior to him. He retired in August 1961 after serving an unprecedented three terms as Chief of Naval Operations. Admiral Burke died on January 1st, 1996 of the age of 94. His wife of 72 years, the former Roberta (Bobbie) G. Gorsuch, died on the ship ' s birthday, July 4, 1997.

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